The Digital Photographic Measurement Method: A Reliable Clinical Measurement Technique of the Hindfoot?
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Division of Athletic Training Undergraduate Research Theses; 2011
Current clinical methods to evaluate hindfoot alignment have poor to moderate reliability among clinicians. The digital photographic measurement method may offer a clinically useful and reliable evaluation technique, but research is limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability of the digital photograph measure of hindfoot alignment among novice examiners. The study included males and females between the ages of 18-25 who did not have a history of previous foot injury, have a general medical condition affecting the foot, or prior foot surgery. For the testing anatomical landmarks were marked with a felt-tipped skin marker and each participant was positioned in a standard weight-bearing position. Digital photographs were taken from the posterior view of each foot for each participant. Prior to the measurement phase of the study, novice examiners participated in standardized instruction session regarding goniometric measurements of hindfoot alignment. At the measurement session, each novice examiner provided 3 measures of hindfoot alignment from each photograph, which were blinded and presented to each examiner in a randomized order. The measurement testing session was completed twice with each examiner with a week between the sessions to test the reliability of the measurement technique. For the analysis, descriptive information including inter- and intra-observer reliability was calculated using SPSS 19. The first measurement session resulted in an intra-class correlation of 0.291. The second measurement session resulted in an intra-class correlation of 0.341. Between the two testing session, individual examiner measurements resulted in correlations from 0.556 to 0.809. This study found that there was not high reliability among novice examiners when using the digital photographic measurement method to evaluate hindfoot alignment. However, the study did show that there is higher reliability within individual examiners when results are compared over two separate measurement sessions. This indicates that if an examiner uses the same measurement technique each session, they will have reliable and repeatable measures.
Best Original Student Research Poster at The Ohio Athletic Training Association Symposium